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Storm Ready | What to do before, during, after a storm or tornado

Do you have a plan during severe weather? Find out what you need to do to keep your family safe.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — WFMY News 2 wants to make sure you stay safe and on top of the latest weather alerts as we're expecting severe weather.

There are a few things you should do now to prepare and even after the storm to keep you safe.

TECH DEVICES 

Charge Up Your Tech Devices: With severe weather, there's always the possibility of power outages. 

Plan ahead and get your phones, laptops, and tablets charged up now. The more options you have when the power goes out, the longer you'll be able to keep in touch. 

RELATED: Weather Alerts | How to set up severe weather alerts on your iPhone or Android phones

EMERGENCY INFO

Emergency Contacts: Program all your emergency contact numbers and email addresses into your mobile phone. 

It's important to include the police department, fire station and hospital, as well as family members.

DOWNLOAD IT!

Download the WFMY News 2 Apps: If your power or cable goes out, you'll still be able to connect online. 

Download the app for live streaming video, updated weather forecasts, and reports from our field crews.

You can download the WFMY News 2 app a few ways, here are the options below:

►Text the word APP to 336-379-5775

►For iPhone | https://apple.co/3aaH6iM

►For Android | https://bit.ly/3aea9Sv

Credit: WFMY News 2
Follow @WFMY for weather updates


MOBILE WEATHER ALERTS 

Make sure severe weather notifications are turned on your phone! No matter whether you use an iPhone or Android, the process is the same.

STEP ONE: Open the WFMY News 2 App.

STEP TWO: Tap the gear in the top right corner.

STEP THREE: Tap “Notifications,” and find “Severe Weather Alerts.”

STEP FOUR: Make sure to turn on notifications, and you can pick how many alerts you get.

  • If you want more, tap the option with statements and advisories.
  • If you want fewer, tap the option with warnings only.

Consider leaving your phone near your bed so you'll be able to hear alerts headed your way overnight.

Credit: WFMY News 2
Get WFMY News 2 Weather Alerts

WFMY RADAR APP

You can also download the WFMY News 2 Radar app.

►For iPhone | https://apple.co/2JWU34g

►For Android | https://bit.ly/2Vkw987

Credit: WFMY News 2
WFMY News 2 Radar App

SOCIAL MEDIA 

Twitter vs. Facebook: Don't depend solely on Facebook to deliver timely weather alerts. Facebook uses an algorithm to determine what shows up in your newsfeed. Every post does not show up in your feed even if you've liked a page. You will miss important posts if you only depend on seeing them through Facebook. 

Twitter, on the other hand, will show every single post from a source you're following. Be sure to double-check time stamps on tweets and posts. People will often share information about weather warnings even after they've expired.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

  • @WFMYWeather
  • @WFMY
  • @TimBuckleyWx
  • @tkweather
  • @CMorganWX
  • @EdMatthews2
  • @EricChilton

WEATHER RADIO 

A severe weather radio can mean the difference between life and death in a storm. They're rather inexpensive, most are around $30-$40. Make sure you always turn it on if storms are expected overnight.

SET UP A WEATHER RADIO 

Setting up a weather radio can be very easy. Here's more information from NOAA on how to set up a radio. You can usually find a weather radio at a drug store or hardware store, superstore, or on Amazon. 

Weather Radio


WHAT IS A TORNADO WATCH?

A Tornado Watch means that conditions are favorable for tornado development. People located in and around the watch area should keep an eye toward the sky and listen to their NOAA weather radio or turn to WFMY News 2 for further weather information.

The watch is intended to give you time to prepare and review your safety rules. 

WHAT IS A TORNADO WARNING?

A Tornado Warning means that a tornado has been detected by the National Weather Service Doppler radar or a reliable report of a tornado has been reported from the field by a weather spotter. 

A tornado warning is usually issued for portions of one or two counties for an hour or less. The storm could also produce large hail and destructive straight-line winds. If the tornado warning includes your neighborhood or workplace, you should seek safe shelter immediately. 

TORNADO SAFETY

In the case of a tornado warning, here are some tips for staying safe depending on where you are when the storm hits.

House/Stand-alone building:

  • Get to the lowest level possible.
  • Go to an area with as many walls between you as possible.
  • Get in a bathtub or interior closet.

Mobile Home:

  • Get out of the mobile home and get in a sturdy building if possible.
  • Get out of the mobile home and hunker in a ditch.
  • If no ditch or building is nearby, plan ahead and get to a sturdy building ahead of time.

Apartment:

  • Get to the lowest level (go to a neighbor's apartment on the first floor).
  • Regardless of what floor you're on, get in a bathtub or interior closet.
  • If you are on a higher level and can't get to a lower apartment, hunker down in the breezeway of the apartment building.

Car:

  • If possible, pull over, park, get inside a building and out of the storm.
  • If you have to stay in your car, try to find a ditch to park in and use your emergency brake.
  • DO NOT park under a bridge or overpass.

Keeping Safe in a Tornado:

  • Cover yourself with a mattress, sleeping bags, or pillows.
  • Wear a helmet to protect your head.
  • Hunker down as much as possible.
Credit: WFMY
If a tornado warning is issued, find the most inner room in your home away from doors and windows and stay there until the storm passes and the threat is over.

WHAT TO DO AFTER A TORNADO 

Tips provided by Ready.gov

  • If you are trapped, do not move about or kick up dust. Tap on a pipe or wall or use a whistle, if you have one, so that rescuers can locate you.
  • Listen to local officials for updates and instructions.
  • Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
  • Watch out for debris and downed power lines.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings and homes until local authorities indicate it is safe.
  • Use extreme caution during post-disaster clean-up of buildings and around debris. Do not attempt to remove heavy debris by yourself. Wear protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work gloves, and sturdy, thick-soled shoes during clean-up.
  • Photograph the damage to your property in order to assist in filing an insurance claim.
  • Do what you can to prevent further damage to your property, (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof), as insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm.
  • If your home is without power, use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns rather than candles to prevent accidental fires.

THUNDERSTORM SAFETY

  • If you can hear thunder, you're close enough to be struck by lightning. Find a safe shelter immediately. If thunder roars, go indoors! 
  • As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building. 
  • If you are driving, pull over and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on your emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle. 
  • If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose. 
  • If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects like fences or bleachers, picnic shelters, dugouts, and sheds.

FLOOD SAFETY

  • If flash flooding is a risk in your location, then monitor potential signs, such as heavy rain.
  • Remember to TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN!
  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.
  • If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, then stay inside. If water is rising inside the vehicle, then seek refuge on the roof.
  • If trapped in a building, then go to its highest level. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising floodwater. Go on the roof only if necessary. Once there, signal for help.
  • Stay away from high water, storm drains, ditches, ravines, or culverts.
  • 12 inches of water can carry away a small car.
  • More than half of ALL flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into floodwaters.
  • Many flash flood deaths occur at night.
  • 6 inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet.
  • It takes only 2 feet of water to float away most vehicles.
  • Never walk through floodwaters.
  • If you’re trapped by moving water move to the highest point and call 911.
  • If line markings on the road are not visible, DO NOT drive through the water.
  • Avoid driving through pools of standing water.

POWER LINE SAFETY

Safety Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging during a storm. 

Consider all lines energized as well as trees or limbs in contact with lines. Report downed power lines to your local power company and to your police department.

If a power line falls across a car that you're in, stay in the car. If you MUST get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.

REPORTING POWER OUTAGES

  • Duke Energy: 1-800-POWERON, 1-800-769-3766 Customers may also report an outage or view current outages online
  • Duke Energy Progress: 1-800-419-6356
  • NC Electrical Cooperatives: 1-888-411-7870
  • Energy United: 1-800-386-4833
  • Randolph Electric: 1-877-736-2633
  • Piedmont Electric: 1-800-449-2667
  • Surry-Yadkin Electric: 336-356-8241
  • City of Lexington Electric: 336-248-2337
  • City of High Point Electric: 336-883-3111

GENERATOR SAFETY 

You need to be especially careful during power outages, as the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and fire increases. Here’s how you can keep your family safe.

  • Use portable gas generators safely. Read the label on your generator and the owner’s manual before a storm hits.
  • If you lose power, use your generator OUTSIDE your house ONLY, at least 20 feet from your home.
  • NEVER use a generator inside a home, garage or shed. Carbon monoxide from generators is poisonous and can KILL you in minutes. CO is called the “invisible killer” because you cannot see it or smell it.
  • Make sure you have working CO alarms in your home. They should be placed outside separate sleeping areas and on each floor of your home.
  • Make sure you have working smoke alarms too. Check the batteries! They should be placed on every level of your home, outside sleeping areas and inside each bedroom.

SHARE YOUR PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

Only when it is safe to do so, please share your storm and damage pictures and videos by texting 336-379-5775. Make sure to include your name and location in your text. You can also email photos to news@wfmy.com or to webteam@wfmy.com. You can also upload them on the WFMY News 2 Mobile App.  

Credit: WFMY News 2
Share your storm damage photos by texting WFMY News 2 at 336-379-5775.